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  • Muse Creative Team

Advertising vs. Marketing What’s the Difference?

It is very easy to get the terms marketing and advertising confused when so many people use them out of context. Any time you are paying for ad space (what we call a media purchase), you are advertising, any time you are defining your preferred customers and market caps, that's marketing. Both are integral to successfully executing any fully integrated advertising campaign. Sequentially, marketing comes before advertising because it contributes to the creative and media placement of your advertisements.


The basic definition of what is formally known as marketing communications is defining who your audience is, where to find them, who is selling to them currently, and how to reach them in an effective manner. Marketing includes the following tools: point of purchase displays, literature systems (brochures, pamphlets, one-sheets, etc.), internal communications (business cards, stationery, shipping labels, business presentation templates, on-hold messaging, etc.), websites, apparel, vehicle graphics, and other brand touchpoints, like packaging design systems, that do not require a media purchase.

Marketing is about identifying your core audience's desires and examining how effective your current assets are performing. This step is referred to as an audit, where we look at your company, your customers, and your competitors. The audit consists of what is called a S.W.O.T. analysis, which is used to determine where improvements can be made, where costs can be reduced, and where you can reallocate your budget towards more effective strategies and methods.

A S.W.O.T. Analysis consists of the following:

Strengths-Where your brand is performing well and how we can build on the equity you've already established.

Weaknesses-Where your brand is underperforming or damaging your brand equity.

Opportunities-New markets your company can pursue.

Threats-External market conditions that can cause you to lose market share.

Muse Advertising uses this information to adjust your marketing plan so that we can create advertising campaigns that are effective. When utilizing creative designed to communicate with your audience in a place and manner that makes them receptive to your message, it results in increases in sales, profits, and brand equity.


Advertising delivers a message about your brand, product, or service by utilizing a combination of creative and media placement to communicate directly with a specific target audience determined by your marketing communications strategy. Popular advertising methods include: television, radio, magazines, billboards, online/digital, and guerilla models.

There are many types of advertising campaigns that are used to fulfill various functions, but the basic purpose of advertising is to keep people aware of your brand, prompt trial of your product or service, and shape your brand image (also referred to as brand personality). Common reasons companies launch advertising campaigns are to announce new products, inform their customers about promotional offers, pursue new market caps, recruit new talent, or announce mergers and acquisitions.

Advertising consists of 4 parts:

Strategy-This is where goals are clearly defined, and processes in which these goals will be achieved are developed.

Creative-This is the idea of the campaign, including the images, sub graphics, slogans, music, voice-over, and other elements that make up the visual and audio components of the advertisement.

Production-This includes printing costs for media like billboards, shooting photography or videos, making the art for the advertisement, selecting or making music, hiring voice-over talent, or other necessary steps needed to actually make the idea into a usable piece of art or video.

Media-Also known as media placement, this is the space the advertisement sits in. Traditional media would be a billboard or TV spot, etc., where digital media refers to any advertising space sold on a website or social media platform. Media consists of three independent parts:

planning-Which medium delivers the desired audiences at the lowest price point.

Procurement-Aquiring proposals and actual placement of the schedules for the appropriate mediums.

Management-Providing documented proof that your ads were placed with the appropriate reach and frequency as agreed upon.

Muse Advertising crafts advertising campaigns that are designed to connect with audiences in a visceral way. The key to successful advertising is to ensure the creative is in line with the brand strategy and marketing strategy, while also grabbing the customer's attention through clever, unique, or impactful combinations of words, images, and sounds (when applicable.) Through consistent, persistent, effort, the right creative with the correct placement will reach the audience you want.

If you are ready to discuss your next advertising initiative, or if you are unsure where to start, Muse Advertising welcomes the opportunity to contribute to your success.

Click here to contact Muse Advertising

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